Last week, W came a very short way out into the suburbs to use one of our high schools as a backdrop for one of his pronouncements. In this one he laid out some very superficial proposals to improve high school education. While most of the news reports offered very little insight or analysis, at least one student who listened to the propaganda could see through the emperor’s clothes.

One student said it ran counter to everything taught about local control in classes on government. "In government, we’re kind of learning how national levels of government really shouldn’t interfere with local and state levels," a sophomore, Electra Bolotas, 16, said. "And then he kept saying that, oh, the national level is not going to interfere with the local and state. But this is, like, kind of a national proposal."

The grammar isn’t great but she’s nailed the concept. So, what did happen to that basic Republican philosophy of "local control"?